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On May 25th we hosted TRANSPORT Smart Class, North of England 2023 at Nexus, University of Leeds. This latest Smart Class gave a fresh take on deploying digital technology-enabled solutions, data-driven strategies and best practices to tackle transport and mobility challenges faced by city-regions of the Northern Powerhouse, and beyond, and deliver a transport system that will allow passengers and citizens to travel efficiently, safely and with minimal impact on the environment.

Our film maker captured the keynotes and innovator presentations for additional stakeholders to enjoy post-event!

If you satisfy our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us on the day for the live in person event, just complete the short application form below and we’ll give you free access to the presentation videos, recordings and slides.

Our stellar line-up of keynote speakers included: Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) Transport Strategy Director, Simon Warburton (now the new Executive Director for Transport at WYCA); Transport for the North’s (TfN) Connected Mobility Lead, Matt Smallwood; and, on behalf of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), Interim Head of Transport Policy, Rachel Jones, and Head of Mobility, Kate Gifford. Simon, Matt, Rachel and Kate provided invaluable real-world insights into their transport and mobility strategies, ongoing programmes and challenges, digital visions, collaborative initiatives, adoptions of transformative technologies and data driven outcomes.

The Smart Class also featured innovator thought leadership presentations – on behalf of UrbanThings (part of Paragon ID), Project Centre (part of Marston Holdings), Slingshot Simulations, Siemens Mobility and Padam Mobility – from Guy Sutherland, James Lewis, Chris Harrison, Robert Harwood, Matt Dacey and Jack Holland. Our innovator speakers addressed priority smart transport and mobility themes and key areas of application. With support from expert colleagues such as Carl Partridge, Simon Franklin, Tina Glover, Andrea Jones and Joe Leach, they subsequently hosted confidential, deeper dive, roundtable discussions with all delegates in attendance. The live (in-person only) session also included thought provoking Q&As and further networking opportunities over breakfast, drinks and lunch.

Vital contributions to these discussions were made by senior representatives from the likes of Arcadis, Arup, ATCO (Association of Transport Coordinating Officers),, Calderdale Council, CTA (Community Transport Association), Derbyshire County Council, Hull City Council, ITS UK (Intelligent Transport Systems UK), Lancashire County Council, Leeds City Council, Mott MacDonald, National Express, National Highways, Northumberland County Council, Sustrans, Tees Valley Combined Authority, Transport for Greater Manchester, Transport for the North, Turner & Townsend, University of Sheffield, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, WSP, City of York Council and more!


Key topics addressed included:

  • How TfGM is building the Bee Network – “the most developed integrated transport system outside London” – to bring together bus, tram, active travel and ultimately rail services into one system with integrated ticketing, information and a high-quality user experience;
  • GM population, inequalities and indices of multiple deprivation; 
  • Decline in bus patronage, growth in motor traffic and the need for better transport in a growing region;
  • Greater Manchester Transport Strategy 2040 – Seven network principles and five spatial themes underpinning the strategy;
  • Bus Franchising 2023/2024/2025, Metrolink, GM Rail (Stages 1 & 2);
  • 2040 Vision – How the Bee Network will support a shift to more sustainable forms of transport to help meet GM’s decarbonisation targets and achieve the ‘Right Mix’ of journeys;
  • GM Trailblazer devolution agreement;  
  • What is MaaS anyway?
  • Promises of MaaS and the MaaS Utopia – End-to-end multi-modal journey planning involving bus, train, taxi, ride hail, micro mobility, walking and cycling; 
  • The state of MaaS today – Challenges and barriers;
  • Ways for operators and authorities to deliver a single source of information and passenger communication, simplified and unified payments, and drive behavioural change; 
  • Future of MaaS – What the roadmap to MaaS might look like; 
  • Socialising the emerging Mayor’s West Yorkshire Local Transport Plan vision; 
  • Developing The Mayor’s West Yorkshire LTP policy context;
  • Achieving net zero carbon by 2038 within the transport sector – What could fair and inclusive decarbonisation look like across West Yorkshire using a place based approach? 
  • Delivering quantified carbon reductions; 
  • Shared Transport Strategy – Role and scope of shared transport in LTP: Shared bikes/scooters, shared cars and rides, mobility hubs, digital demand responsive transport, first/last mile freight;  
  • How digitalisation and technology can enhance traditional design process; 
  • Decarbonising Transport: a better, greener Britain – Climate Change Committee (CCC) analysis; 
  • DfT’s travel behaviour change research;
  • Air pollution affects (Public Health England) on people throughout their lifetime;
  • Harnessing power BI analytics and real time, localised air quality data to visualise the end results of projects and empower local authorities and communities to deliver sustainable, inclusive and accessible places for all; 

  • Place-based Digital Twins for transport decarbonisation and a climate resilient network; 
  • How do we quickly navigate complex and interdependent options such as energy mix, building regeneration, land use, transport controls, mobility mode shift, renewables, charge points, active travel and hydrogen?
  • Digital Twins as a strategic solution in the government’s Transforming Infrastructure Performance Roadmap to 2030; 
  • The critical challenges of data deluge, siloed analytics and simulation, and skills and resource gaps;
  • Case Studies: Using a digital twin to help DfT to decarbonise local transport and build resistance to flooding;
  • Implementing a collaborative, and holistic, connected mobility strategy for the North that is placed-based, user-centric and evidence-led;   
  • What is ‘Connected Mobility’ and how has TfN been supporting authorities across the North in realising their visions for more connected journeys for passengers? 
  • Connected Mobility Hubs – Assisting York, Tees Valley and Lancashire to set the foundations for the rollout of contactless capping; ‘washing-up’ findings from DRT trials; and developing a toolkit for multi-operator ticketing; 
  • Future of Ticketing – Pay as you go/ABT, multi-modal ticketing, barcodes and new tokens, new and legacy smartcard schemes, fares and retail reform; 
  • Data and Infrastructure – Open data and open source; journey planning and disruptions; integrating across place and mode; standardised and interoperable data; infrastructure and procurement; enabling supplier and industry innovation;
  • Future mobility – Integrating new modes, micro mobility and first/last mile; 
  • Why a ‘one-size fits all’ approach will not work for commuter towns, conurbations, rural and dispersed communities, visitor destinations, transformational locations and industrial places; 
  • Transport for the North partnering across industry: mode operators, technical suppliers and local authorities; 
  • Why MaaS for local authorities? From valuable data for origin/destination patterns, driving down carbon emissions/improving air quality, reducing car dependency and improving transport equity to consolidating fragmented mobility ecosystems, promoting healthier travel, integrating the transport network and working with local employers to improve accessibility; 
  • MaaS 1.0 commercial model – “The Elephant in the Room”; 
  • Increasing adoption of Mobility-as-a-Service in the UK market by reducing barriers to entry and improving long-term commercial viability – Intermodal routing; multi-tenanted platforms; collaborating with neighbours; B2B licensing; sponsorship; DRT as a pathway to MaaS etc      

Those qualifying to receive the presentation videos and rich media content from this event include commissioning, procurement, trialling, partnering and policy leads, senior influencers, strategic decision makers and planners from local authorities (e.g. city, borough, metropolitan, district and county councils); public transport operators; regional transport partnerships, sub-regional transport bodies, combined authorities, integrated transport authorities and passenger transport executives; highways authorities and road operators; government and supporting national transport agencies; fleet operators, parking operators, prime contractors etc.

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TRANSPORT Smart Class, North of England 2023

On May 25th we will be casting a spotlight over the North of England, hosting our speakers discussions on how the latest digital innovations can help overcome the transport and mobility challenges faced by city-regions of the Northern Powerhouse and beyond.


   Leeds, UK

Sponsored by
Padam Mobility
Project Centre
Slingshot Simulations

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